Conspicuous bravery during the retreat

Various Old Redingensians (OLd Boys of Reading School) had been serving their country.

O.R. NEWS.

Deaths

Captain Lionel Tudor Wild, Somerset L.I., was the second son of Mr. and Mrs Aubrey S. Wild. Of 21, canning-road, Addiscombe, Croydon, and was born in 1888.Educated at St. Winifred’s, Kenley, and Reading School, he was for a short time in the service of the London and Westminster Bank, but afterwards turning his attention to motor engineering, he took up an appointment with Messrs Argylls (Limited) in Dundee, and was subsequently manager of the company’s branch in Aberdeen. For several years before the war he was a member of the Surrey Yeomanry, and attained the rank of sergeant, being one of the best rifle-shots in his squadron. On the outbreak of war he was mobilized with his regiment, and after some months’ training obtained a commission in the Somerset Light infantry, proceeding to France with his battalion in July, 1915. In 1916 he was appointed brigade staff captain, but eventually returned to his regiment, and was given the command of the company. He was reported “wounded and missing” on November 30th, 1917, and it has now been established that he was killed on that date, in an attempt to save the remnant of his company during the German counter attack near Cambrai, and was buried by the enemy at Masnieres.

On Saturday the death occurred at “Westdene,” Earley, the home of his parents, of Sec. Lieut. F.I. (Frank) Cunningham after illness contracted on active service. Deceased was educated at Reading School, from which he entered the City and Guilds Engineering College, London, and after going through the three year’s course he obtained a diploma in civil and mechanical engineering. In 1910 he went to Canada, and was assistant engineer on the Grand Trunk Railway. When war broke out he enlisted on August 14th, as a private in the Royal Highlanders of Canada. He was at Valcartier and Salisbury Plain, and in 1915 went to the front. At Ypres he was wounded in the foot, and after recovery was attached to the C.A.M.C., until 1916. He then obtained a commission in the R.F.C., which he held up till February the 3rd of this year, when he was invalided out of the service and granted the honorary rank of Sec. Lieut.

The funeral took place at St Peter’s Earley, on Thursday, April 11th. The officiating clergy were the Rev. W. S. Mahony, Vicar of Linslade, the Rev. Capt. A. Gillies Wilken (O.R.) Chaplain to the Canadian Forces ( lately prisoner of war in Germany), and the Vicar (Canon Fowler). The coffin was draped in the Union Jack.

Military Cross

Capt. (A/Major) D.F. Grant, R.F.A., the son of Mr W.J. Grant, of 12, Glebe Road, Reading. Major Grant was educated at Reading School, and quite recently lost his eyesight in France but has since regained it.

Captain Arnold J. Wells, A.S.C., T.F. (Territorial Force), has been awarded the M.C. for meritorious service in Egypt. He has served in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine.

Bar To Military Cross

Sec. Lieut. (A/Capt.) J.L. Loveridge, M.C., Royal Berks.

Mentioned In Despatches

Fullbrook-Leggatet, Capt. C.St. Q.O., D.S.O., M.C., Royal Berks Regt.

Military Medal

Corpl. H.C. Love, Despatch Rider, R.E., of Reading, has won the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery during the retreat March 23rd-30th.

The following is the official statement of service for which Lieut. O.S. Frances, M.C. Royal Berks Regt. Received his bar: –

“He marked out the assembly positions for the whole brigade before an attack and guided forward companies of two battalions over very difficult ground and under heavy shell fire.”

Corporal W.L. Pauer, a sniper in the Munster Fusiliers, has been awarded the Military Medal and also the Medaille Militaire. He has been twice wounded. During the retreat in March he was made a King’s Sergeant on the field and he has since been awarded a bar to his Military Medal.

Wounded.

Rees, Major R.A.T., L.N. Lan. Regt., attached South Staff. Regt. He was formerly classical master at Reading School, where he held the commission in the O.T.C.

Reading School Magazine, July 1918 (SCH3/14/34)

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“Our generation has learnt to think of settling down to end one’s days together in safety seems all one asks of life”

Ralph Glyn’s sister Maysie was amused by their aristocratic mother’s depression at the thought of living on a reduced income now her husband was retiring, and had had a royal encounter in Windsor.

April 24/16
Elgin Lodge
Windsor

My dear darling R.

I wonder what for an Easter you spent [sic]. Very many happy returns of it anyhow. I got yours of 14th today. I hope you have seen Frank by now. How splendid of him to spend his leave in that way. Your weather sounds vile, still you are warm & here one never is. I hear from Pum [Lady Mary] today that Meg is in bed with Flu & temp 102. I am so worried, & hope she will not be bad. I must wait till John comes in, but feel I must offer to go to them, but how John is to move house alone I do not know! We move Thurs. My only feeling is that it may distract the parents somewhat during this trying week….

[Mother] takes the gloomiest view of household economies etc, & is determined it will all be “hugga mugga”, “She was not brought up like that & you see darling I have no idea how to live like that” etc etc. I tried humbly to suggest that one could be happy from experience & was heavily sat on, “it’s different for you young people”. Of course it is, & I wasn’t brought up in a ducal regime, still one can have some idea – also possible if Pum had ever had Dad fighting in a war she’d find more that nothing mattered. I think our generation has learnt that, & to think of settling down to end one’s days together in safety seems all one asks of life perhaps! You can well imagine tho’ nothing is said, how this attitude of martyrdom reacts on Dad. In fact he spoke to John about it. One does long to help, but one feels helpless against a barrier of sheer depression in dear Pum…

There seems little news to tell you. The King came Thurs, & has been riding in the Park. We ran into all the children, 3 princes & Princess M pushing bikes in the streets of Windsor on Friday. It was most surprising. They have got two 75s here as anti-aircraft, one on Eton playing fields & one Datchet way. They say if they ever fire the only certainty must be the destruction of the Castle & barracks!!

You know all leave was suddenly stopped on the 18th & everyone over here recalled. We all thought “the Push” but Billy writes the yarn in France is, it was simply that the Staff and RTs wished to have leave themselves – but then one can hardly believe, it’s too monstrous to be true. However John Ponsonby has written about coming on leave the end of the month so there can’t be so much doing yet. The news from Mesopotamia is black enough, one more muddle to our credit & more glory through disaster to the British Army.

I wonder what you think of the recent political events. Pum nearly or rather quite made herself ill over it!…

Billy has I fancy been pretty bad. The bed 10 days at some base hospital, bad bronchitis & cough….

Bless you darling
Your ever loving
Maysie

(more…)

We ought to withdraw from the Dardanelles at once and face an enormous loss of men

Meg Meade wrote to her brother Ralph Glyn, serving in the Dardanelles. She reported mixed opinions about the ill-fated Dardanelles campaign.

Aug 23rd [1915]
Yockley House
Camberley

My darling Ralph

I wonder every day how you are getting on, & I’m sure you must be pretty done in with exhaustion and work. People here have their eyes glued on the Dardanelles, & the confidence displayed that we shall force the Straits in a week’s time makes one think they believe it to be a very much easier task than it is. Yesterday Hopie & I were talking about it, & he didn’t seem to have heard at all of all the opposition GHQ in France made to the continuation of the scheme. When I was in London … I saw Willie Percy & he told me that Allan was of the opinion that we ought frankly to withdraw our forces from the Peninsulas as soon as possible, & face the enormous loss of men it would entail! But confess our failure there as soon as possible! Hopie seemed never to have heard of the possibility of such feelings in men such as Allan etc, & to try to convince him of the truth of what I said, I told him what Henry Wilson had said about liking to shoot [“any man” crossed through] you for having a hand in the Dardanelle operations. Only I didn’t say that Wilson had said it to you, meaning you. I said that you “had been present when it was said”. But far from convincing Hopie that there can be any feelings of dislike of the Dardanelles operations on part of GHQ he politely but firmly refused to believe my statement was possible. It was very amusing, & I got him to write down what he could not swallow, & I have promised him that by return of post you will show that I am not a liar! So I will be very much obliged to you if you will return enclosed to me with “perfectly true” written at the foot as soon as you can. Now don’t forget, & I am perfectly confident you can indicate that I spoke nothing but the truth! Hopie & his regiment are under orders to go to France at the beginning of next month. His regiment is the Lothian & Border Horse, known here as the Liver & Bacon Horses! Poor Doreen is going to have an infant next month, so it’s hard luck on her…

The news from Russia is splendid as far as their naval successes go, & I think it must cheer up their retreating armies. If only they don’t get cut off by the Bosch.

Have you heard that John [their brother in law John Wynne-Finch] has been made a Captain. Maysie, of course, is in 7th Heavens! He is out of the trenches now joining up with the organisation, so there’s a respite. The parents are at Voelas [John and Maysie’s home in Wales], where I hope they stay till the end of their holiday…

I went with them to Johnnie Chesham’s wedding… Lady Airlie told me [at the wedding] she had come away from Cortachy because it was so far from all news & sometimes the Dundee Advertiser used to ring her up on the telephone & say “Has Your Ladyship heard that there has been a verra serious battle at the Front & that all the Cavalry have been cut up!”, & then they rang off, leaving poor Lady Airlie to wonder what had happened to the 10th, which is Lord Airlie’s regiment.

Your most loving
Meg

Letter from Meg Meade to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/2)